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Bush final farewell takes on personal, distinctly Texas feel

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A special funeral train was carrying Bush’s remains through small towns to the family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University
HOUSTON — George H. W. Bush’s family and friends praised his faith, humility and patience Thursday, saying the former president embodied courage and grace along with his unique brand of humor and kindness as days of national mourning in Washington took on a more personal feel during a final Texas farewell.
Addressing a funeral at Houston’s St. Martin’s Episcopal Church where the 41st president and his family regularly worshipped, Bush’s former secretary of state and confidant for decades, James Baker, addressed him as “jefe,” Spanish for “boss.” He praised Bush as a “truly beautiful human being” who had the “courage of a warrior but the greater courage of a peacemaker.”
“The world became a better place because George Bush occupied the White House for four years,” said Baker, who concluded his remarks fighting back tears.
Following the services, a special funeral train was carrying Bush’s remains through small towns to the family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station. His final resting place is alongside his wife and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia at age 3.
Thursday’s flavor was distinctly Texas. In place of most Washington dignitaries were top Houston athletes including the NFL Texans’ defensive end J. Watt — displaying Bush’s love for sports — and Chuck Norris, who played TV’s “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
The St. Martin’s Parish Choir performed “This is My Country,” which was also sung at Bush’s presidential inauguration in 1989. Those gathered also heard a prayer stressing the importance of service and selflessness that the president himself offered for the country at the start of his term.

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